I was a vegetarian for many years and when I started to eat meat, I was seriously surprised at how positively my body changed... I went from being just lean to becoming lean yet TONE and HEALTHY with just the right amount of muscle.
It makes sense because protein is the building block for our bodies. When we eat enough of it, we reap numerous benefits: we recover faster, gain lean muscle which helps us shed fat, and overall have a stronger, healthier body. Also, it helps to feel fuller for longer, and can really help a body look lean and tone... as I experienced when I started eating more of it.
Unfortunately, I sometimes struggle to eat enough of it on a day-to-day basis, and I've noticed that seems to be a consistent theme with many of my clients and followers. I've gotten a LOT better in the previous years and even months, so I'm sharing some tips that have worked for me to up my own protein intake.
01: Include a High Protein Food with Every Meal & Snack
This may seem like a no-brainer but think about it. How easy is it to grab a banana on the go and leave it at that? At the very least, grab a Chomp's beef stick to eat too. This will help you hit your protein goals AND help keep your blood sugar and insulin stable. When you prioritize protein, you're simply more likely to reach your protein target. (And if you're not sure what your protein target is, check out our macro calculator here!)
02: Incorporate a High-Quality Protein Powder
I'm not big on processed food but protein powder is one I'd find it hard to live without. I don't think I'd hit my goal without it! Just Ingredients is hands down my favorite brand in terms of quality, ingredients, & flavor... Each scoop is 22 grams of protein! Considering it's packed with four different types of protein, whey, pea, coconut, and collagen, I can see why. And the flavor is so good, that I've nearly stopped buying my other loved brands.
03: Top Your Food with High Protein Extras
Think of seeds like hemp or chia, or even shaved beef liver.
You might be surprised at how much protein a tablespoon of hemp seeds can provide. One tablespoon has ten grams! So a little here and there and it adds up quickly. I like to rotate between chia seeds and hemp seeds, or I use both! I put them in my overnight oats so they're soaked and therefore more digestible and easier for your metabolism to utilize as fuel.
Beef liver is another easy win. I keep mine frozen in the fridge and use a cheese grater to grate it directly into my food. If you put it in the right foods like soups, etc, you won't even know it's there!
04: Choose Greek Yogurt
Greek yogurt is typically packed with a considerable amount of protein more so than other styles. Check the labels next time you're at the grocery store and compare! Definitely check though. I've noticed that protein content for the brands at Trader Joe's is significantly lower than the ones I compared them to at Whole Foods (including Greek, European, etc).
05: Eat More Cottage Cheese
I happened to buy this on a whim recently and took a glance at the label and was blown away by how much protein it contained... a whopping 21 grams for a 3/4 cup! That sounds like a snack I'm going to be incorporating far more frequently.
06: Make a Simple Swap
For example, swap out rice for quinoa. Would you believe one cup of quinoa has 8 grams of protein? And considering it's a 1:1 swap for just about any meal, I think this is an easy one to do. Next time you're making that stir fry or what Josh calls a "bro meal" (broccoli, rice, and chicken), swap out the rice for quinoa for that extra boost of protein.
07: Add Collagen to Your Drinks, Baked Goods & More
Ok, so collagen is basically tasteless (depending on the brand) so you can quite literally mix it into just about anything. I add a scoop to my oatmeal, smoothies, desserts, soups... I think you get the idea.
08: Keep Hard (or Soft!) Boiled Eggs Handy
I like to do this because when I'm in a hurry, I'm more likely to skimp on my protein intake. Having these in my fridge most weeks allows me to grab and go and forget about it. I highly recommend sprinkling some everything seasoning on them to boost their flavor... yumm.
Here's an example of what a day of my protein might look right to meet my personal protein goal (140 grams).